Ice dam prevention can save you anywhere between a few hundred dollars for minor roof repairs and more than $20,000 for major repairs for ice dam damage. The professionals at Hallmark Homes Remodeling understand the implications of a major financial hit caused by accumulated roof ice and we want our customers to follow correct ice dam prevention guidelines.
What Causes Ice Dam Damage?
When accumulated snow on a sloping roof starts to thaw, water moves under the top layer of snow. The water moves to another location where it refreezes to impede the flow of water through the roof drainage system. Eventually, the constant cycle of thawing and refreezing water creates a large ice dam that causes fissures within roofing materials
The reason why the snow at the bottom of an accumulated pile melts is because poor air circulation and/or inferior roof insulation causes heat to rise from an attic or a bedroom and melt the lower layer of snow. Melted ice that flows at the bottom of a large snow pile is especially a problem for homeowners who live in climates where the temperature frequently climbs above freezing during the day, only to drop below 32 degrees Fahrenheit at night.
The experienced home remodeling professionals at Hallmark Homes Remodeling operate under the time-tested adage of “Prevention is 100% of the cure.” We want our customers to save money by learning how to prevent ice damming.
We Have the Cure to Stop Ice Dams
You do not need a PhD in architecture or a Masters degree in roof design to understand that by maintaining the same temperature for the eaves and the entire roof, you put a stop to water turning into ice at night. Installing insulation, improving air circulation, and sealing every crack takes care of the potential financial devastation caused by large accumulations of roof ice.
Improve Air Circulation for the Ridge and Soffit Vents
Install a ridge vent and a series of soffit vents to increase the flow of cold air underneath your roof. Both types of vents should have identical openings, which should measure one square foot of vent opening for every 300 square feet of an entire attic floor. We like to insert baffles located at the eaves to force more cold air through the soffit vents.
Install More Insulation
Insulation traps attic and top floor bedroom heat to prevent the melting of ice on a roof. Hallmark Homes Remodeling can help you determine how much insulation you need to trap heat under the attic floor for ice dam prevention. You might have enough insulation underneath the attic floor, but the condition of the insulation requires you to install new insulation to trap heat. An older roof is more vulnerable to the problem of inadequate attic and bedroom floor insulation than what you find with the high-quality insulation installed under a new roof.
Seal Ducts and Cracks
We recommend that our customers evenly distribute fiber-enforced mastic on HVAC duct joints, as well as on exhaust ducts to prevent air leaks. Cover the newly sealed HVAC and exhaust ducts with R-5 or R-6 foil fiberglass to enhance the sealed ducts. Seal cracks by inserting caulk into the narrow spaces that define the cracks. You detect cracks by looking for light that shines upward from the rooms located directly below your roof.
What is the Condition of the Attic Hatch?
Some ice dams form over time because of the slow rise of warm air that moves from the attic to under roofing materials. Small cracks in ducks and attic floor materials release the warm air slowly. However, if you find a large opening caused by an unsealed attic hatch or attic fan, you are creating the conditions for the rapid refreezing of moving water. At your nearest home improvement store, purchase weather-stripped caps that include a foil-covered foam board. Aluminum tape does a great job of securing foam boards together to prevent heat from escaping through an attic fan and/or attic hatch.
Do Not Forget the Chimney for Ice Dam Prevention
Chimneys often go unchecked for the presence of fissures that allow warm air to melt snow that has accumulated on your roof. One of our professional home remodelers can perform a thorough examination of your chimney to detect the presence of cracks or large holes. To prevent chimney-caused ice dams, close any crack or hole by inserting L-shaped steel flashing. You stabilize L-shaped steel flashing by applying a fire resistant sealant.
Lack of Prevention Leads to Ice Dam Repair
According to Allstate, personal property coverage protects your home from specified dangers, such as weather and construction-related damages. Personal property coverage typically does not cover the damage caused by accumulated ice on your roof. Even if a homeowner’s insurance policy covers the damage caused by accumulated ice, the coverage most likely consists of several limits that force you to pay out of pocket for repair work
Hallmark Home Remodeling specializes in fixing the damage caused by ice dams. However, we prefer to offer preventive maintenance for your roof that seals ducts and cracks, increases the amount of insulation, and encourages cold air flow between the ridge vent and soffit vents.